The Human Rights Protection Party

What is Good for Apia is also good for Savaii!
"O le mea e lelei i Apia, e lelei foi mo Savaii"

Jul 13

Samoa loses December 30th without a hitch

By Tupuola Terry Tavita


International Dateline changedDecember 30 was lost in a nano-second as Samoa shifted the dateline from West to East.

The historical event was ushered in with prayer, song and fireworks at government’s Mt Vaea prayer house just before midnight, December 29.

The “momentous and well noted occasion” was attended by Their Highnesses the Head of State Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi  and wife Filifilia, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, several hundred guests and strong overseas media presence.

Delivering the keynote address 15 minutes before the stroke of midnight, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the change means Friday – which is supposed to be today – has disappeared from 2011 calendar. Samoa is now aligned with New Zealand and Australia in terms of having the same days.  It means Samoa now has five days to do business with these countries, the Prime Minister said.

“Tonight is a momentous and noteworthy occasion that will be documented and recorded in the history of Samoa,” he said.

“It alters the typical number of days and weeks observed worldwide and in Samoa.”

Tuilaepa insisted that the change would benefit the people of Samoa. It means there would no longer be travel issues related to different time zones.  Tuilaepa said the switch also reverses a decision made 120 years to move to the east of the international dateline because most of Samoa’s trading partners at the time.

He pointed to the young people of Samoa to take up the opportunity as a chance for new developments so that they can prosper and grow. “May God be gracious on Samoa!”

The prayer service was conducted by Rev Afamasaga Mautofu Fuimaono.

The partying continued on in downtown Apia to the early hours Saturday morning as car-loads of people came from everywhere rounding the town clock – the centerpiece of the date change – tooting horns and celebrating the shift in time zones.

Author: Savali
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